RALEIGH, N.C. — Two years ago today, North Carolina became what many say will be the last state to pass an anti-LGBT constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages and civil unions. Today, same-sex couples will protest in Raleigh to mark the anniversary, as the group which advocated for the amendment gathers to celebrate.
This morning, the Campaign for Southern Equality will join with several couples who are expected to enter the Wake County Register of Deeds office and attempt to apply for marriage licenses. Most likely, as in similar Campaign actions across the state, they will be turned away. Other legally-married couples, however, will pay a $26 fee to record their out-of-state marriages.
Trudy and Justine Price-O’Neil are among them. They’ve been together for a decade and have a two-year-old child. Both are teachers. This evening, Trudy will be named Enloe High School’s Teacher of the Year.
Several religious leaders will also join them, including Rev. Nancy Petty of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, as well as the Price-O’Neils’ pastor, the Rev. Doug Long of Umstead Park United Church of Christ.
Meanwhile, supporters of the North Carolina Values Coalition, one of the primary proponents of the amendment, will gather on the state Capitol. They’ll celebrate two years of discrimination and are none-too-pleased with with the Campaign for Southern Equality.
“To tie up the time of county employees with useless acts of civil disobedience is a waste of tax-payers’ time and money,” the anti-gay group says on its website. “All this is a publicity stunt designed to get the liberal media’s attention.”
Three lawsuits have already been filed challenging the state’s amendment, including a unique lawsuit filed on April 28 citing the violation of clergy and individual religious freedom.
And, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will soon decide in a separate case challenging Virginia’s similar amendment. Their decision could have an impact on North Carolina.